Run (Swim) Review: Introducing Drills | Eclectic Cake: Run (Swim) Review: Introducing Drills

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Run (Swim) Review: Introducing Drills

After declaring the Speedo Pace Club app my new training aide, I don't feel like I've actually used it properly – apart from racing my boss from Alcatraz to the safety of San Francisco Bay (I'm currently winning!), and perving on videos of pro swimmers. So this week I made sure I was prepared. I chose my training session – a 1400yard (I've been doing metres) drill session aimed at increasing endurance, then sprint/jog pool run intervals – and, through a stroke of genius, wrote my session plan in permanent marker on a piece of acetate, which I attached to an elastic band and wore around my wrist. I gathered together the equipment I needed and headed to the pool.

Escape from Alcatraz – my progress this session

The first drill was the test – eight lengths of freestyle. Since I started swimming for rehab, my ankle's been way too sore for the kicks. Being able to do this meant that I was making slow but steady progress. It might not have looked (or felt) very smooth but two lengths in and I was feeling great. No pain! Lucky, as the rest of my warm-up relied on being able to do freestyle.

The other drills in the first section of my session plan helped focus on different parts of my body. The fist drill (freestyle with fists rather than flat palms) worked my legs harder, whilst the pull with buoy (freestyle arms whilst holding legs stable with a float) focused on my arms. It made me realise how little I actually use my legs when I swim. Crazy considering they're the biggest and most powerful equipment I've got to use! I must work on this.

My session plan

As my training plan was so varied, it flew by and I actually really enjoyed it. I also feel that I got far more out of this session than any other I've done so far. The main section of 12 sets of 50metres really got me working hard!

But I wasn't done yet. As part of my rehab many people have suggested pool running. I attempted this last week but without the proper equipment, it was hard to do it properly. So I've thrown aside my wishes to be stylish when I workout, and bought a floatation belt. No, it's not a rubber ring! But it is a ridiculous looking belt of foam blocks that keep you afloat as you run in the water. As you sprint with high knees, moving your arms as you go, you feel like a bit of a pro – you're putting in your all and you can feel the burn. In reality, I'm surprised a lifeguard didn't try and rescue me! But, vanity aside, I do feel the benefits. And now I've bought the equipment I'm going to have to stick with it!

1.  For a sport that requires you to be practically naked, swimming, with all its accessories, is not a sexy sport!

2.  Acetate tied to your wrist whilst swimming scratches... a lot! Next time I'm writing my session plan on something without sharp edges!

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